Archive for Monday, August 22, 2011

Tonganoxie City Council votes not to extend city administrator’s contract

August 22, 2011

The Tonganoxie City Council voted 3-2 Monday not to extend the contract of City Administrator Mike Yanez.

The vote came at the end of the meeting that saw the council approve the 2012 budget and after three executive sessions on matters involving non-elected personnel. Councilman Dennis Bixby made the motion not to extend Yanez’s contract and start a search for a new administrator, which was seconded by Councilman Bill Peak. Councilman Andy Gilner joined them in voting for the motion.

The vote was made with no debate or comment. Yanez’s current contract with its $87,838 annual salary will expire Dec. 31.

Bixby said Tuesday that the move was made for the best of the city.

“I’m sure Mike has some good qualities,” he said. “It’s not anything personal, but different businesses and community members had expressed a need for change when I was running for office, so I think we needed to take a different direction moving forward.”

Peak and Mayor Jason Ward declined comment Monday.

After the meeting, Yanez said he would be leaving Tonganoxie with a legacy of accomplishment.

Yanez was hired as Tonganoxie City Administrator in February 2005, leaving a similar position with the city of Eudora. Perhaps the most significant project during his time with the city was the construction of the popular new water park.

During Yanez’s first years with Tonganoxie, the city enjoyed a housing boom as its population increased from 2,728 in 2000 to 4,416 in 2010. But that growth disappeared with the 2008 economic downturn and with it Yanez has overseen three tough budget cycles.

Earlier this month, Ward and Peak expressed disappointment when it was learned days before the council was to vote on publishing the 2012 budget that there had been two errors in calculations presented the council during its month-long budget deliberations. Peak followed up with questions on the city’s budget oversight process.

Ward said he wanted a timeline and procedure for the hiring of a new city administrator developed at the council’s Sept. 12 meeting.

The mayor expressed no preference about the council buying out the Yanez’s contract.

“The council is aware of the option, and it will ultimately be their decision as to how we move forward,” Ward said.

Bixby said he had no preference on a buyout.

Comments

nonbeliever 3 years ago

If I understand the workings of our city adminstration--the "budget numbers" were prepared and presented to Yanez to give to council. He should have caught the errors but the person preparing the numbers should receive the same treatment as Yanez. The city deserves better employees and the council is taking the right action but they need to keep up the good work..we need a clean sweep.

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straightup 3 years ago

Disagree with city council decision! Thought the others (City council members) had better common sense then Bixby! Bixby is a Joke! Usually when someone start out saying "It's not anything Personal" It mean it is personal

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12345 3 years ago

Straightup- - Bixby ran on a platform of cutting costs at the city. That's what he got elected to do. Cutting Yanez is a pretty good start. He's been expensive for the city.

For as critical as you've been of the council and city budget and taxes I'd expect you to support this too.

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showinquarters 3 years ago

I also disagree with the city council decision! Mike is a forward "thinker" and the people that want him out are the ones who want Tonganoxie to just be a sleepy ole town (or they just want to shake things up). He was the person who helped lead the charge for a new pool for our citizens and their kids (what a great place to keep the kids busy IN OUR TOWN). He has worked with LCDC to try to bring large business to the city and southern part of the county. Whomever hires Mike after this will definitely get an A+ guy and will be lucky to have him on their team. Good luck Mike on your future endeavors!

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mymonkey 3 years ago

"Thinker"! That kills me. Shows how out of touch you are with what goes on. Way overdue. Too bad two coucilman did'nt have enough sense to agree. Ask business people what they think! Check out the history for the last eight years. I also agree with nonbeliever. Has the bank commented on this? I thought he was their personal rep.

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straightup 3 years ago

Oh.... if I remember, awhile back there was a post about "mymonkey" being council member Peak. So I say that You three that voted to remove Mike Yanez has no common sense! and "12345" The city will not be cutting cost by getting rid of the city administrator they will have to replace him. I sure hope they will.... I sure wouldn't want you three hillbilly's to run the city administrator place! Talk about budget screw up. I couldn't imagine what kind of mess you three would leave our city!

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Tongiescout 3 years ago

It's never a good thing when a city loses their city administrator but I think we can do a lot better. Also, I think its unfair to bring up the budget error and not include everyone who was invloved. There were the people who should have caught it and then the people who were responsible for it. EVERYONE should be blamed, not just one person. I think Mike is a decent person and I'm sad to see him go but this town needs to grow and offer more to its citizens, THAT is what I hope for in the future.

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straightup 3 years ago

"Tongiescout" You are correct they should hold everyone responsible about the Budget error.... City Clerk, City Administrator, City Council members, Mayor all of them. Did the city council members catch the error? NO Did the Mayor catch the error? NO So who should the city get rid of?

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kanfarmer 3 years ago

I talked to him twice. Didnt get a stright answer either time. Long over due. Good bye Mike!

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ryan1180 3 years ago

We (Tongie residents) were paying Yanez $88k a year? Let me rephrase that, we (Tongie residents) were paying Yanez $88k a year? I found our budget error

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getagrip 3 years ago

While this post isn't completely relevant to the article, I do think it is appropriate to say.....when there is any type of election be sure YOU understand who and what you are voting for. Seems like we wait until issues such as this surface, then post our opinions here. This has been true with our City Council and the School Board. Don't listen to your neighbors opinions, get the FACTS then decided for yourself whether or not the issue or the person is a good idea for you as a person or for your family. What is best for your neighbor isn't necessarily what is best for you. Getting the right people to do the job is done at the voting booth, not on this type of forum.

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only1 3 years ago

Getting the right people is done by collaborating and doing research, not by individuals voting at the booth. If that was the case, our country wouldn't be in the shape it is. If you haven't noticed, democracy doesn't always lead to the best person for the job.

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getagrip 3 years ago

You are right only1, but if people were more informed of those running for office (i.e. personal agendas) wouldn't they have done the research to vote for the right person at the voting booth? We are both saying the same thing, just looking at it from two different perspectives.

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Old_Vet 3 years ago

Mike Y. is a nice guy and he's done a good job. During these economic times he should have paid more attention to the budget and not recommended the raising of property taxes. This crop of council members may have a tough time at the next election. Not for releasing Yanez but for raising taxes every year. The county commissioners are in the same boat, they keep raising taxes. Flowers will not get reelected if he can't keep the mil levy down. The county wants 2.5 mil increase and they're trying to hire a full time administrator. If they do that then the commissioners should revoke their own salaries. City council and school boards in the county are not paid positions. If an administrator is hired then we MUST no longer pay the commissioners. I moved here a long time ago and I've seen a lot of changes, one thing that hasn't changed is how our taxes never go down, always just a little increase here, a small bond there, etc. (Watch M. Yanez get hired as the County Administrator)

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only1 3 years ago

Sorry to break the news to you but Tonganoxie is far behind other communities it's size. I challenge you to visit other communities of 5,000 people in the state of Kansas. Look at their school facilities, look at their restaurant options, look at their mill levy's, look at their desire to be progressive. This community has been held back by the "ultra conservative" types for too long. It's time to make Tonganoxie the community that it could and should be. If that means the mill levy has to go up a little, then so be it. This living in the "old days" attitude is ridiculous. Whoever they hire for our next administrator, I hope he has progressive visions and will stand up to the people holding this community back.

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Old_Vet 3 years ago

Progressive is a bad word. In the political environment of today it means more taxes and more spending. We've spent and spent on education with little to indicate we've gotten our investment back. Conservative values are an asset, not a liability. If you find it difficult to accept our communities values then find a new community.

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only1 3 years ago

Spent and spent on Education? Of course, because the community has almost doubled in 10 years. Progressive does mean spending, but you see, when done right you get a return on your investment. There are too many people in this community who are opposed to any "change". Doesn't matter what the change, if it means one penny spent, they will be opposed. I have news for you, I will not leave the community. I will stick around and personally witness the changing of the gyard. Eventually, we will outnumber the people holding the community back. Progression doesn't have to happen overnight, but Tonganoxie is moving at a snail's pace.

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